Monday, September 14, 2009

Odd goings on in the Guardian

Rather than write the whole thing out again, here's what I posted on the Bad Science forum:

First post. Sorry if I appear pedantic but the Guardian's grasp of basic science facts irritates me in the face of their positioning in the market as being the clever clever paper.

Thing is, the Guardian's health correspondent has had a confusing weekend struggling with what E. coli is. Bug, virus or bacteria.

He plumped for virus in the first iteration of the article on which he was the sole author. I posted a link on my blog which now connects to a different article: ... urrey-farm

This now has two authors, one of whom is, bizarrely, an economics writer. The avoids all mention of viruses or bugs, just "E coli". Confusingly, the article history indicates only a single revision 27 minutes after the first posting which I think is strange given that I had time to read the original article, work myself up into a whirlwind of pedantry, draft my blog bit with a photo (finding one always takes five minutes or so) so it looks like I lucked into a small window there.

Thing is, I think that this was the original piece which has also been edited: ... urrey-farm

From a different author (Ben Quinn rather than David Batty) but the timing fits with when my blog was updated: and it has the requisite "vomiting bug" reference missing from the new piece.

So: either the bylines have been switched, or there has been some unreferenced changes, or I'm a huge idiot missing something (which is always possible). Perhaps I should have archived the original page but I"m not that anal (I didn't even italicise E. coli above, I'm sure you've noticed).



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